Weddings can bring so much joy, but a few added expenses! We’ve got more tips on how to save money on wedding costs!
Wedding planning is this wonderful, stressful, amazing, crazy thing! Anyone who has been involved knows that the to-do list feels like it will never end…which sometimes causes it to look like the overall budget will never settle or stop or be the right number.
We all have different ideas on what the perfect wedding is, and we all have different resources to make that happen. And while we can’t tell a bride what to choose or instruct couples on what to cut out, we can offer up this guide, which covers 10 common areas of wedding planning.
Yes, those who need a starting point on how to have and hold a beautiful and budget-friendly big day…Look no further.
Ways to Save Money on Wedding Expenses
Choosing a location is usually one of the first steps in planning, since this will help determine the date of the wedding and will set the entire vibe of the ceremony and reception. This step is also usually one of the most expensive, since you are renting an entire space. Some affordable options here include the following:
- Backyard – A beautiful backyard wedding, one with a boho theme in the spring – sounds super dreamy.
- Beach – Depending on the beach, you could have an ocean-side wedding for little or nothing!
- Restaurant – A small wedding party could rent out a room at a restaurant and be ready to eat as soon as the ceremony was over.
- Courthouse – And, of course, going to the courthouse for this union will cut down on fees tremendously.
Another huge decision to be made is who will wear what. Most people picture a white gown and a black tux for a ceremony, but there are no rules. This day is about the happy couple, and they should wear whatever makes them happy, like:
- Casual clothes – If the wedding is going to be casual, the clothes can be, too, and some couples may want to look like they always do on their big day.
- Rented clothes – Renting is cheaper than buying, and men go this route often, since they may never wear a tuxedo or suit again.
- Handmade clothes – It is not unheard of for a bride to wear a dress that her grandmother made, that a friend created or that she sewed herself!
Some wedding ceremonies just feature a cake. Others serve a multi-course meal. And some bring in food trucks so that guests can enjoy a variety of appetizers. In order to save money in this area, consider the following:
- Who is cooking – If there is a chef in the family, think about having them cater instead of bringing in an entire team that will need to be paid even more.
- Who is coming – It can be hard to gauge how many people will show up and how much they will eat. Think carefully about how much food is being prepared, since there needs to be a plan for what happens if the food runs out and what happens if there are trays and trays and trays left over.
- Who is coupled – Remember: This day is about the couple, and while you want your guests to have a great time, do what works best for you. If you just want a cake, that’s fine. If you don’t want a cake at all, that works, too!
On a similar note, people will expect to have at least water at this celebration. As with the food, just remember to plan as best as possible, and remember to go with whatever the wedded couple prefers, which may be:
- Bottled water
- Water in coolers
- Canned drinks
- An open bar
- One signature cocktail
- Tea brought in from a restaurant
After the I dos are said, the party begins, and during a reception, there is usually an activity or two. We already touched upon serving a meal and/or snacks, but here are some other options that will keep everyone entertained:
- Photo booth
Every wedding is different, but most of the items that we have covered so far are necessities for any big day. When it comes to decorations, though, it truly is whatever works best for each couple.
Just look at our homes; some people are minimalists with only a few sleek pieces, while others are eclectic, with knick knacks everywhere. Those who want to decorate their wedding and/or reception venues should consider:
- Using what you have – Use an arch from your yard to stand under during the ceremony. Take the photos from your house and hang them around the reception hall. Borrow chairs from a neighbor. Cover the tables in decorations and dishes that you own, borrow, rent or buy for cheap.
- Making it a project – If you have a bridal party, put those friends to work! At the bachelorette party or bridal shower, you can have DIY time, when you all make some sort of decor for the wedding.
- Turning to social media – There are weddings all the time, which means there are people selling materials online all the time. Keep your eyes peeled for unwanted mason jars, dishes, ribbons and other needed items.
- Keeping it simple – Some people don’t have any decorations on their big day. And some people don’t need any at all. A beach wedding is already pretty, an outdoor reception doesn’t call for more to be added, a contemporary venue may look fine on its own, and a couple may just want to keep the attention on them!
Music may play before the ceremony, when the bride walks down the aisle, after the couple is announced as married, when dancing is happening, and as the couple leaves for the night. However, hiring a DJ to come in with equipment may not be in everyone’s budget. Couples may want to use the following alternatives:
- A music device that rolls through a playlist
- A friend/family member who can control the songs
- A friend/family member who can play an instrument
- No music at all
You’ll want to capture every memory on this special day, and here is how to do so in a more affordable way:
- Turn to those you know – If there is someone very close to you who takes great photos, you can discuss pricing with them, which could be cheaper than hiring a professional who will bring in lots of equipment.
- Utilize social media – In today’s digital world, many couples have a wedding hashtag. Guests can then use this hashtag when posting all their wedding photos, which allows the couple to see and enjoy even more views of their big day!
Have we mentioned that every wedding is different? See, for some, favors are a no-brainer: If you are making people drive to you to sit for hours, they deserve to leave with a goodie. However, others may find wedding favors to be pointless: They already got free cake out of me! Those who are searching for affordable little gifts can consider:
- Coffee/tea packages bought in bulk
- Bubbles (which can also be used in the send-off)
- Monogrammed cups
- Handwritten notes
Of course, before the wedding day arrives, invites must be sent out. There may also be programs at the ceremony, and afterwards, thank-you cards must be sent out. Tips here include the following:
- Search around for the best price
- Use store-bought paper products
- Go digital
And there you have it! This guide certainly doesn’t cover every cost associated with every wedding. And some of these tips may seem great to certain couples and silly to others. But the purpose here is to provide a general outline of what to include and how to do so affordably. Good luck in your planning, and congrats to all involved! <3
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